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Bloomberg Urges Residents, Protests to Strike Balance

Friday, October 21, 2011

WNYC

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he has been listening to the complaints of residents near Zuccotti Park that their quality of life has declined because of the ongoing protests there.

Speaking on his weekly WOR radio show Friday, he urged all sides to continue looking for the right balance, but suggested the city hasn't figured out what that balance would be.

“It is the city's problem, and we'll make a decision, but it's just not so easy,” Bloomberg said. “You can't just walk in and say, ‘Hey you're out of here.’ And there's the problem of, if they're out of there, where do they go?”

Community Board One in Lower Manhattan passed a resolution Thursday to recognize the protesters' Constitutional rights, but the board said it opposed the use of force by police or the park's owners to address their concerns.

Some residents at the board meeting said protesters urinate in the streets and beat drums at night. Some called for the protesters to leave. A protest spokesperson agreed that the demonstrators need to be better neighbors.

Bloomberg said while the protesters have been demonstrating peacefully, the city will step up enforcement in situations where protesters march without a permit. He said the lack of clear protest leaders had complicated negotiations between demonstrators and other parties.

Meanwhile, late Friday night folk music and 1960s protest legend Pete Seeger joined an Occupy Wall Street protest around Columbus Circle, replacing his banjo with two canes as he marched. The 92-year-old Seeger was joined by his grandson Tao Rodriguez Seeger.

Another 1960s legend was at the march, folk singer Arlo Guthrie.

Approximately 1,000 people were present at the march that started from Symphony Space to Columbus Circle.

With the Associated Press

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